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MARIANO AVILA and MAGDALENA AVILA, petitioners, respondent Julito Bahan and company gathered coconuts

vs. HON. LAURO L. TAPUCAR, Presiding Judge, Branch 1, from the land purchased by petitioner Magdalena Avila.
Court of First Instance of Agusan del Norte and Butuan City,
JULITO BAHAN, CRISTINA BAHAN PANIS, LUCITA CARTERA,
They filed an action for quieting of title and damages
BOY CARTERA and CANDELARIA BAHAN MENDOZA,
respondents. August 27, 1991 against the Avilas. In their answer, the petitioners Avilas
raised the defense of having purchased the land from a
DOCTRINE: certain Luis Cabalan and from then on has been in open,
It is axiomatic in this jurisdiction that while land continuous, public, peaceful and uninterrupted possession of
registration is a proceeding in rem and binds the whole the same.
world, the simple possession of a certificate of title under
the Torrens Systems does not necessarily make the holder a
The Avilas filed a motion for a preliminary writ of
true owner of all the property described therein. If a person
obtains a title under the Torrens system which includes by injunction praying that the Bahans be enjoined and ordered
mistake or oversight land which can no longer be registered to refrain and desist from gathering or continue harvesting
under the system, he does not, by virtue of the said the fruits on the land in controversy until the termination of
certificate alone, become the owner of the lands illegally the case.
included.
In registration proceedings, a cadastral court has no
In the meantime, the Bahans' application for free
authority to award a property in favor of persons who have
not put in any claims to it and have never asserted any right patent was approved and the free patent was issued , and
of ownership thereon on the same date an Original certificate of title was issued in
the name of the Heirs of Pedro Bahan, represented by Julito
FACTS: Bahan.

In 1918, spouses Pedro Bahan and Dominga Exsaure


acquired a 1.8340 hectares parcel of coconut land. Said
property was inherited in 1965 by private respondents, as ISSUE:
successors-in-interest. W/N the subsequent approval of the application for
free patent for 6.9027 hectares in favor of the Bahans (the
In 1960, petitioner Avila bought a 4,371 square land which rightfully pertains to the Avilas being embraced
meter parcel of land which is part of the subject property and included therein), the issuance of free patent and
original certificate of title in favor of the Bahans during the
inherited by the Bahans from their predecessor, under a
pendency of the case for quieting of title is proper
Deed of Absolute Sale of Unregistered Land.
RULING:
On November 3, 1971, the heirs of Pedro Bahan filed No.
Free Patent Application for a lot which has a total area of The free patent that was issued to the Bahans is
6.9027 hectares in its entirety. Sometime later, private erroneous as it embraced and comprised in portions thereof

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lands which belong to the Avilas. The subsequent system, which includes by mistake or oversight land
registration of the portion of land belonging to the Avilas by which can no longer be registered under the system,
the Bahans could not make the latter owners thereof. he does not, by virtue of the said certificate alone,
A cadastral court has no authority to award a become the owner of the lands illegally included.
property in favor of persons who have not put in any claims
to it and have never asserted any right of ownership Registration does not vest title. It is not a mode of
thereon, and the certificate of title issued under the acquiring ownership but is merely evidence of such title
circumstances to such persons would be declared null and
over a particular property. It does not give the holder any
void subject to the right of innocent purchasers for value.
While land registration is a proceeding in rem and better right than what he actually has, especially if the
binds the whole world, the simple possession of a certificate registration was done in bad faith. The effect is that it is as if
of title under the Torrens Systems does not necessarily make no registration was made at all.
the holder a true owner of all the property described
therein. If a person obtains a title under the Torrens

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